12 Types of Allen Keys and Their Uses [Complete Details with Pictures]
What is Allen Key?
Types of Allen Keys and Their Uses [with Pictures] :- Hexagon and Torx keys are simple equipment specially designed for turning their respecting fasteners. It doesn’t matter whether you are a keen DIYer or a professional, having both a hexagon and torx key close to hand at most of the times ensures one thing that you’re not slowed down when you come across any fastener.
A hexagon key objective is tightening and un-tighten fasteners – both bolts and screws – that have hexagonal (six-sided) recesses, or indents, in their heads. These are known as “in-hex” (which is short for internal hexagon) heads. While they may occasionally be available individually but, they are most often sold as sets, with different types of sets available for various circumstances.
A Torx key is for tightening and un-tighten fasteners – both bolts and screws – that have Torx (six-pointed, star-like) recesses, or indents, in their heads. While Torx keys may occasionally be available individually but, they are most often sold as sets, with different types of sets available for various circumstances.
Types of Allen Keys / Types of Hexagon & Torx key
1. Standard Allen Keys / L-Style Allen Wrench: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Standard hexagon and Torx keys are generally sold as a set with a storage sleeve (plastic), holder or box that helps it to organise them in ascending order of their size.Unlike the hex keys, which are generally measured across their flats and sized in eithermetric or imperial measurements, Torx keys have their separate sizing and designation system, so we do not need separate imperial and metric sets from each other.
What Manufacturers often do is color code the storage box just to help themselves distinguish their metric set of hex keys from their set of imperial. Standard torx and hex key sets are available with various different features such as ball ends, chamfered edges, non-magnetic or magnetized fastener holders.
2. Keyring Allen Key Set: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Ring sets are simple L-shaped hex or Torx keys which are mounted on a keyring with a clip which is spring retaining. These key sets are commonly very cheap and can be stored with your house or car keys for easy convenience. The are attached to the ring in such a manner that to use the long arm, you have to twist and pull the key away from the retaining clip present. To replace the key their on the retaining clip, you push the key and then twist it.
3. T-Handle Allen Key: ( Types of Allen Keys )
T-handle sets generally come in four designs: one-piece continuous loop, sliding T-handles, and plastic T-handle with a short arm; plastic T-handle without a short arm. T-handle keys with various different features such as chamfered edges, non-magnetic holders are available just to name a few.
4. Sliding T-Handle Hex Key: ( Types of Allen Keys )
The metal bar which forms the T-handle can be slide from one side to the opposite. By sliding the bar absolutely to one side greater torque can be applied. The sliding bar can also be of much high use when working in restricted areas such as close to a wall.
5. Plastic T-Handle Without a Short Arm: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Plastic T-handle hex and Torx keys gives us an advantage of applying more torque to a fastener than we can with the long arm of a regular hex key. With larger sizes, the plastic T-handle is generally used with the help of both hands. Good quality plastic T-handles are most often made of two types of plastic (generally referred to as being a bi-material), one of which is a called TPR (thermoplastic rubber). The TPR gives the handle a cushioned, soft feeling and provides better grip for the person using it.
6. Plastic T-Handle With a Short Arm: ( Types of Allen Keys )
These are generally the same as the plastic T-handles described above, but with the addition of a short arm that extends farther from one side of the T-handle. This additional feature simply concludes that the hex or Torx key can be used in even many more various situations, such as ones with access that may restrict the use of other T-handles present. The addition of the short arm also gives the user an advantage to apply more torque while he/she is using the long arm as a handle thanks to the additional leverage due to the addition of short arm.
7. Folding Hex Key Set: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Folding hex and Torx key sets consists of short arm keys that get folded into a storage handle. The storage handle is either made of either metal or plastic. The most common metal which are generally used to make the storage handles of this set are galvanized steel or aluminum. Plastic storage handles are becoming the most common type of handles now usually found on folding hex key sets in recent times. Folding keys are most commonly used folded out at 90 degrees from the storage case/handle to exert maximum torque on the work. However, one of their main advantages is that the folding keys will fold in excess of 180 degrees or more, helping you gain access to even harder-to-reach fasteners or turn a fastener more quickly.
8. Ratcheting Hex Key Set: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Ratcheting hex and Torx key sets are available with either a folding handle design or T-handle. The hex and Torx keys of these sets are usually separate pieces to that of the handles. They will often come with screwdriver bits in addition to the hex and Torx keys. The bits are held to the handle with the help of a magnetic bit holder that houses the entire ratchet mechanism. The ratchet restricts the movement of the bit to turn in only one direction when the handle is turned simultaneously.
9. Mixed Hex Key Set: ( Types of Allen Keys )
A mixed hex key set is simply put together as a selection of both metric and imperial hex keys included in a single set. These are most often useful if you are purchasing your first set of hex keys and are likely to be working with both type of fasteners-metric and imperial fasteners. A mixed key set will often cost us less than two standard hex key sets in sizes pertaining to metric and imperial ones. Mixed hex key sets are generally available with all the features that you can expect from a standard hex key set such as ball ends, chamfered edges, and non-magnetic and magnetic fastener holders.
10. Spinner Handle Hex Key / Allen Screwdriver: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Spinner handle hex and Torx keys look just like a screwdriver except one thing and that is they have either a hex or Torx shaped profile at their start of their tip. This means they are also called hex or Torx screw-drivers. Like other hex keys, hex keys with spinner handles generally have the hexagonal cross-sectional shape running through the entire length of the shaft. The spinner handle itself is generally made of an injection moulded plastic with much greater quality ones often featuring TPR (thermoplastic rubber) for much improved grip and comfort. However, there are some parts which have handles made out of aluminum.
Spinner handles are extremely efficient at turning a fastener quickly and models with extra-long shafts give us a leverage to reach deep into recessed areas of a workpiece to access the fasteners, but as they do not have a short arm we cannot apply as much torque to a fastener as we do generally when we use the long arm of a standard hex or Torx key to function as a handle.
11. Stubby Allen Key: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Stubby or shallow hex and Torx keys generally have a shorter short arm when compared to standard keys. The short arm of stubby keys is approximately of half the length of the equivalent size standard key’s short arm length. They have a much tighter inside radius which is most definitely required to allow the maximum amount of the stubby end to locate right into the fastener head. This stubby design enables them to fit in areas where a standard key can simply not.
12. Flag Handle Hex Key: ( Types of Allen Keys )
Flag handle hex and Torx keys usually have no short arm, but instead, they have rectangular handle made up of plastic that sits to one side of the key and gives it an appearance like flag. The plastic flag is much more comfortable to turn than using the short arm of a regular Torx or hex key. This type of hex and Torx key is most commonly seen in smaller size keys, where turning the shorter arm of the standard key is much more difficult.